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KickStart 2023 Commissioned Choreographer

Marbella Carlos

Choreographer/ Performer

Marbella Carlos is an interdisciplinary artist born in Manila, Philippines, based in Tiohtià:ke/ Montreal. Her recent performance work as “Joy Rider” has led to multiple awards and international performances including Fierte Montreal 2019, Teaser Festival New Orleans, Bagel Burlesque Expo. She was the winner of the prestigious Best Debut category at the top burlesque competition in the world: the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas,Nevada. 


She holds a BFA (University of Calgary), a BEd (University of Toronto OISE) and an MA (Concordia University: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada SGS Master’s, Storytellers National Finalist & more).

About the Work

Walang Hiya

Joy Rider’s Walang Hiya is a long-form burlesque performance that focuses on Filipina sexuality, integrating elements from Filipino culture. How can one remain the subject of their sexuality within a context that limits their agency and humanity? How can someone with particular identity markers that are frequently fetishized become an agent of their sexuality? This burlesque performance invites a shift from a socially acceptable expression of femininity within a patriarchal culture that expects the feminine to be demure, submissive, or chaste to one that is subversive and even pleasurable.


Joy Rider


Joy Rider, Komodo, Lia Jasmine


Gerard X Reyes

Outside Eye

Loulou la Duchesse de Riere, Gitanjali Kolanad

Costume Design

Joy Rider, Elise Truong (Sweet Carousel)

Lighting Design

Jareth Li

Creative Credits

_Gerard X Reyes_Do Phan Hoi_94 of 94.jpg

Gerard X Reyes


Gerard X Reyes (they/he) is a choreographer, dancer, director, teacher, certified Somatic Sex Educator, Intimacy Coordinator, and pioneer of Montreal’s Kiki Ballroom community. As a dancer, they worked for 7 years with the Compagnie Marie Chouinard, as well as with choreographers such as Jérôme Bel, Benoît Lachambre, Luther Brown and Leiomy Maldonado. As a choreographer, their first dance solo, The Principle of Pleasure, explores themes of control and seduction through voguing. Their second work, Public / Private Parts or L’Origine du monde, is a video installation and performance that goes beyond the limiting binaries of public / private and art / pornography. In 2023, they will be releasing a podcast series as well as short films as part of the Public/Private Parts series.

For more info: and Instagram @gerardxreyes

Both Photos of Marbella Carlos by Marisa Parisella, Photo of Gerard X Reyes by Do Phan Hoi

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